Hysterical psychosis: A historical review and empirical evaluation Academic Article uri icon


  • The concept of hysterical psychosis (HP) suffered a curious fate in the history of psychiatry. During the second half of the nineteenth century this disorder was well-known and thoroughly studied, particularly in French psychiatry. In the early twentieth century, however, the diagnosis of hysteria, and of HP, fell into disuse. Patients formerly considered to suffer from HP were diagnosed as schizophrenic or as malingering. Attempts to reintroduce this diagnostic category have failed, perhaps partly because the term 'hysterical'is seen by many as having pejorative connotations. The DSM-III-R (American Psychiatric Association, 1987) index lists HP, but refers readers to brief reactive psychosis and to factitious disorder with psychological symptoms. Brief reactive psychosis, first included in the DSM-III (American Psychiatric Association, 1980), bears some similarities to HP, as it is considered a …

publication date

  • January 1, 2018